What a busy day in the stock market! r/WallStreetBets is making a comeback, Sen. Bernie Sanders is squaring off with Jeff Bezos, and lawmakers are giving a boost to cannabis stocks. It seems that everyone on Wall Street is trying to complete their to-do lists before the long weekend. With that in mind, what did the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.21%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.24%
- The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.03%
So what else did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? A Big Squeeze.
GameStop (NYSE:GME) delivered a real blast from the past on Tuesday, rallying more than 16% to close out the day at $209.
Importantly, this move comes as investors brace themselves for further short squeeze action in GME stock and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC). Social media users have continued to rally behind campaigns like #AMCSqueeze and #AMCStrong. The essence of these efforts is that, after cooling off, retail investors are ready to reclaim 2021 highs and cause pain for short-sellers.
As InvestorPlace contributor David Moadel highlighted today, there is a real case for a continued short-squeeze rally in GameStop. The most important data point is social media sentiment — Moadel cites strengthening support for meme stocks in recent days. Since May 18, mentions of GameStop on social platforms have soared 1,400%, largely concentrating around squeeze messaging.
InvestorPlace Assistant News Writer Brenden Rearick wrote today that there is even more to this story. It seems that r/WallStreetBets is back to its GME predictions, zeroing in on $190 as a key level. Because GameStop closed Tuesday above $190, many Redditors think it can retouch $300 in the coming days. Their logic? Largely the same — growing social media support for GameStop and growing disdain for short-sellers.
Also helping matters is incoming GameStop Chairman Ryan Cohen. A man known for his mysterious Twitter presence, Cohen tweeted out a not-safe-for-work GIF on Tuesday. Regardless of what he intended to convey, GME bulls are taking it as a good sign.
Investors Need Some Confidence
Today, The Conference Board shared an update on its consumer confidence index for May 2021. In the last month, the reading dipped from 117.5 to 117.2. Although strong compared to the start of the pandemic, some investors felt pressure on Tuesday as the index failed to meet consensus estimates.
But what does this really mean?
For those unfamiliar, the Conference Board consumer confidence index measures how optimistic or pessimistic consumers are regarding their financial situations. Importantly, optimistic consumers plan on spending more. Pessimistic consumers could alter their spending habits in a way that triggers a recession, as Investopedia highlights.
Because the report this morning missed expectations, some investors are worried about a dip in optimism. One factor behind the dip could be the last round of $1,400 stimulus checks. At this point, those checks are likely running out, no longer fueling consumer spending. Another factor, as Yahoo Finance summarizes, is that inflation fears could be hampering consumer confidence. Many households are already adjusting their habits in anticipation of higher prices.
But there is a way to look at the situation with the glass half full. As the Associated Press wrote this morning, economists think confidence should generally improve over the summer. Although inflation fears will still linger, Covid-19 reopening should prompt excitement and a rush of spending.
For investors, the bottom line is that there continues to be a push and pull in the markets as America crosses its fingers for a post-pandemic reality.
It’s Gonna Be a Hot Vax Summer
Last week, Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL) and Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) banded together in support of Covid-19 vaccines. As a result, market analysts are throwing their support behind Hot Vax Summer. Others are calling it Shot Girl Summer.
Either way, the sentiment is the same. With Covid-19 vaccines rolling out en masse, consumers will return to dating apps with a new zest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have changed their mask, social distancing and gathering guidelines, ushering in a summer filled with awkward first dates. For BMBL and MTCH stocks, this sounds like huge user growth.
But Hot Vax Summer will have wider-ranging impacts. As consumers start to get up close and personal with one another, it is time for a hygiene refresh. This means spending on everything from deodorant, to fragrances, to toothpaste. You may hate small talk, but you at least want to look good.
As Sarah Nassauer and Sharon Terlep wrote for the Wall Street Journal, we are already seeing this in action. Products like toothpaste, deodorant, condoms and even tuxedoes are flying off shelves. Retailers are calling this Great American Cleanup the sequel to the toilet paper rush of March 2020.
For investors, the companies that make our prettying up possible sound like great bets, at least for the summer. We have previously reported on the increased interest in condom stocks, but even big-box stores like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) are getting in on the action.
Want to play the Hot Vax Summer in your portfolio? Consider these seven other stocks perfect for the reopening rallies.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Sarah Smith is the Editor of Today’s Market with InvestorPlace.com.